Crafty Irna trainer Ron Quinton was quick to praise apprentice jockey Sam Clipperton after he piloted the mare to victory from a wide gate in the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick today.
Clipperton rode the five-year-old in positive fashion from the outset, positioning her just behind the lead as Herculian Prince went hard early.
Crafty Irna assumed the lead heading into the straight and showed toughness to hang on in a thrilling photo finish from The Verminator and Western Symbol.
Quinton never had any hesitations in awarding the ride to Clipperton and couldn’t have been happier as the young rider scored his second victory at stakes level.
“I’m just so pumped for Sam. He’s only a kid and the owners were so supportive of me putting him on and he’s delivered well,” Quinton said.
“I told him before the race, ‘she’s drawn awkward and you’re going to need a lot of luck son and it’s all in your hands.’ It’s a great result.”
Quinton said he will assess during the week whether the daughter of Starcraft goes to the paddock or has one more run in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 10.
Clipperton admitted he thought he would get run down in the final stages but praised Crafty Irna’s ability to hang on in the dying stages.
“She travelled beautifully coming into the run and I just tried to nurse her as long as I could and she fought them off well,” Clipperton said.
“To be honest I thought I’d been beaten but to her credit she pinned her ears and stuck her nose out and did a good job.”
It was the fifth start of the spring for Crafty Irna who finished second in both the Listed Toy Show Quality and the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes earlier this year.